How can I make the Windows 10 Start Menu feel like Windows 7?

The new start menu is a flexible, configurable collection of icons and links.  And although Microsoft did a good job blending the benefits of the Windows 8 start screen with the familiarity of the Windows 7 start menu, I still think people will find that the, constantly updating, garish collection of live tiles are both a little juvenile and distracting for everyday use.

That’s why in this post I’m going to show you how to slash the pounds off the Start Menu.  We’re going to purge the fat by removing those annoying live tiles and then we’ll spruce up the menu by changing the background color.

Let’s go!

We can put the Start Menu on a diet by right-clicking each live tile and choosing Unpin from the context menu.

Unpinning live tiles from the Start Menu in Windows 10

Unfortunately, you have to manually right click each tile to do this.  You can’t hold down the Ctrl key to select multiple tiles – which is a little nettlesome but I can live with that.

Now look at your new Start Menu.

Slimming down the Start Menu in Windows 10

It’s nicer but we can actually trim even more weight from the Start Menu.

Push your mouse cursor right along the top vertical edge of the menu until it your cursor changes into a double headed arrow.

Now you can click to drag the menu down to a smaller size…

Click to drag the menu to a smaller size

or stretch it out to its maximum height.

Stretching out the Start Menu

Okay, great but I don’t think the sky blue background of the start menu complements the muted colors of my wallpaper.

Let’s change that.

Near the bottom of the Start Menu, right click the vertical space directly above the All Apps button and choose Personalize from the context menu.

Personalizing the Start Menu in Windows 10

Now you can change the background color to almost anything you want.

I made an abortive effort trying to change it to white but charcoal looks good so I’ll probably pick this one.

Changing the color and appearance of the Start Menu in Windows 10

Oh wait, hot pink is pretty bold.  It’s jarring and surprising – sort of like me.

I’m going with this one.

Having fun with the Start Menu in Windows 10

When you want to add your live tiles back to the Start Menu you can click the All Apps button located directly above the search box and then right click the tiles you want to Pin to Start.

Pinning tiles to the Start Menu in Windows 10

I love it!

Now I admit this doesn’t look anything like the Windows 7 start menu but doesn’t it at least look better than the Windows 10 start menu?  What do you think?

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